What hope do I have (with my manual transmission)?

I fear I’ve got BIG manual transmission trouble. Would love to hear ideas/opinions from folks. The car: '89 plymouth colt hatchback(mistubishi mirage) 1.5 liter 5 SPEED ~ 115K miles. The story: was pulling into traffic in first gear when “pop” - the stick shift was thrown out of gear. I dropped it into second and tried accelerating and things felt bad - rough and grumbly. I immediately pulled over. Nothing visibly broken underneath (like drive axles or cv joints). Further test driving reveals that 1st and 2nd gears are pretty rough and grumbly, while 3 through 5 work pretty normally except for a wide variety of noises that come and go. Reverse is like 1 and 2, but not quite that bad. A friend suggested I might have “broken off a gear tooth” in the transmission (?). What do ya’ll think? and what hope do I have of ‘cleaning out’ some of this debris with a transmission flush and still using this car occasionally as a beater? OR… what might be possible as to having the transmission opened and cleaned out? OR… buying a used transmission? Any and all ideas welcomed. thanks a lot!

I wonder if a snap ring that holds a synchronizer to its shaft may have broken. If this is the case, I’m not sure what you can do short of rebuilding or replacing the transmission. It may be difficult to find a used transmission for a 1989 Plymouth Colt. There weren’t a lot of these sold and parts are probably scarce.

Your car is 21 years old, so maybe it is time to move on.

maybe it is time to move on… BUT… I"m learning a lot with this car! (as should be expected). and meanwhile, when it runs, it’s great, and gets 40 mph! it might still be worth it to me if I could have a good, used 89 plymouth colt again for another $500 investment (!??). (I will be considering that, though.) thanks for the ideas!

You can probably use a magnetic wand to fish around inside the drain hole and see what you can pull out…Lots of chunky stuff means it’s the end of the line. The car is not worth the repair cost. But anything can be repaired if you pour enough time money into it…

If you find gear teeth when you fish around inside the transmission with a magnet, it’s a goner. Try http://www.car-part.com for another one near you.

thank you, everybody. will see what I can fish out of there today.

I had roughly that happen with a 1965 Mustang. Turned out to be a bearing that held the end of the gear shaft in the transmission. Bearing ended up in little tiny pieces. The gearshaft ended up spinning in the recess that had formerly held the bearing. The interesting thing is that unlike automatic transmissions that are notoriously difficult to repair and no place for amateurs, manual transmissions can be pretty straightforward. Furthermore, they aren’t that difficult to remove as transmission removal is part of clutch replacement.

If you have tools, you might consider dropping the transmission, looking inside to see what failed then either replacing the failed part with a dealer (hey, it could happen) or junkyard part. That, or replacing the transmission. Unless the clutch and throw out bearing are pretty new, you should probably replace them while you have the transmission out.

A used transmission from a salvage yard is your best bet. It is not a very common car so the salvage yard may need to do an internet search to find one.

When you drive the car with “chunky” noises you are doing more damage to the transmission. At this point I doubt it is repairable. If you want to consider repairing the current trans you’d have to stop driving it. Pull the transmission open it up and see what gears and shafts are affected. Rebuilding a manual trans if the shop can find the parts. I won’t tackle this as a DIY project without a specific repair manual for the transmission and you’d need to be a pretty experienced mechanic.